People of African descent and black Europeans are particularly vulnerable to racism and discrimination. This group has been present in Europe for centuries and is estimated to be over 15 million strong, including those who are citizens for generations and more recent arrivals.
In the Human Rights Comment Afrophobia: Europe should confront this legacy of colonialism and the slave trade, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concerns about “black people being particularly exposed to racism and intolerance in many areas of their daily life”. Persisting social and economic inequalities, worrying incidence of incitement to hatred, racism and discrimination, raise serious concerns, including in the context of the public debate and policy responses to the challenges posed by migration and terrorism.
Contemporary forms of racism include the use of new technologies, including the Internet, to disseminate ideas of racial superiority and neo-Nazi, neo-Fascist and violent nationalist ideologies and movements, based on racial or national prejudice.
The lack of data is an obstacle to gaining awareness and an evidence-based understanding on the challenges and human rights violations faced by people of African descent and black Europeans in Europe.
The Council of Europe plays an important role in countering racism in Europe, including through the European Convention of Human Rights and related case-law, the work and recommendations of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and the activities of the Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Parliamentary Assembly should take stock of the current situation and identify effective policy responses to issues including exclusion, negative stereotyping, prejudice, intolerance and discrimination against this group.